Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Blurb

The Windwitch Prince Merik is presumed dead after a lethal explosion. However, he’s scarred but alive, and determined to expose his sister’s treachery. Yet on reaching the royal capital, he’s shocked to find refugees fleeing conflict. Merik haunts the streets, fighting for the weak – sparking rumours of the Fury, a disfigured demigod who dispenses justice.

While searching for Safi, Iseult is cornered by the Bloodwitch Aeduan. She proposes a deal: she’ll return what was stolen from him if he locates the Truthwitch. Yet unknown to Iseult, there’s a bounty on her head – and Aeduan intends to claim it. Meanwhile, Safi and the Marstoki Empress survive a shipwreck, then find themselves among the brigands. And their captors plan to unleash war upon the Witchlands…

Book Stats

Format: paperback
Length: 459 pages
Published: 2017
Publisher: Tor
Source: World of Books

Goodreads

Trigger warnings: depression, suicide

Review

Windwitch is the sequel to Truthwitch, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. It picks up where Truthwitch left off, which means we are put straight back into the action of the story. Safi and Iseult have been separated, so we follow their different strands of action, as well as that of Prince Merik. 

As I said in my Truthwitch review, Merik is my least favourite character in this series, so the fact that a lot of the action focuses on him in this book didn’t excite me. It put me off a little, to be honest. But, as the story progressed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Merik didn’t annoy me as much in Windwitch. I still don’t like his character, but I did appreciate his character growth in this story. 

There are a lot of storylines to keep track of in Windwitch, and though I’ve seen other reviewers say that they felt Safi’s storyline wasn’t important, I felt that it was and I enjoyed it. We get to see more of the Witchlands through her eyes, and I think her storyline will be important to the future books. I like Safi as a character, and how she seems to be the most physically powerless character in the novel. There are more ways to be a strong character than having physical strength. I like that her character is more focused on inner strength.

I’m still not a fan of the writing style of this series, but it didn’t bother me quite as much in Windwitch. There are some elements of the story that feel a little convenient, in particular certain developments in the magic system that feel like they are there to serve the plot. But it still made sense within the world, so I can live with it. 

There are both LGBTQ+ and mental health discussions in Windwitch. Neither form large parts of the plot, but they are present. I especially enjoyed the plot point and character that dealt with mental health, I’m just hoping it continues to be handled sensitively as the series progresses. There is a hint at a female/female relationship between two of the characters, as well as one character who could be classed as trans. Nothing is ever explicitly stated, but that’s my reading of both situations. 

All the characters in Windwitch go through a clear arc of development. Aside from Safi, it all works really well for me. Safi’s arc fell a little flat though because it was basically the same as she went through in Truthwitch. She comes to the same realisation about herself at the end of the book, which is a shame, because I think she’s got a lot further to go as a character and it would have been nice to see some of that in this book. 

Overall, I thought Windwitch was okay. This still isn’t my favourite series, but I’m intrigued enough to carry on with the series. 

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